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prepared by Rabbi Eliezer Chrysler
Kollel Iyun Hadaf, Jerusalem

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Shabbos 17



(a) Min ha'Torah, an Ohel of one Tefach wide transmits Tum'ah from a corpse over which it is suspended, to anything else which is lying under it. Beis Shamai and Beis Hillel decreed that any movable object with a circumference of a Tefach (like an ox-goad) will also transmit Tum'as Mes in the same way - even though its width is less than a Tefach - with the result that the Mitamei becomes an *Av ha'Tum'ah*.

(b) Rebbi Tarfon disagrees with the entire decree. According to him, they declared the ox-goad which the man was carrying to be an Av ha'Tum'ah because it was Ma'ahil over the Mes, and the man who was carrying it, a *Rishon le'Tum'ah* because he had now touched an Av. But this is the Torah law, and has no connection to any Rabbinical decree, since objects of less than a Tefach wide can *receive* Tum'ah through Tum'as Ohel, but not *transmit* it.

(c) Rebbi Tarfon was so frustrated at the Torah that was being forgotten, that he cursed himself by saying that he should bury his own son.

(d) Rebbi Tarfon holds like Rebbi Meir in the previous decree (of 'Hameni'ach Kelim'), but he also includes that of 'B'nos Kutim' in the eighteen decrees.

2) According to Rebbi Akiva, they only decreed Tum'as Ohel on the person who was actually carrying the ox-goad, since he was already Tamei min ha'Torah through touching it, and was therefore Tamei Tum'as Erev (like Rebbi Tarfon explained). Chazal therefore, concerned that people might say that Tum'as Ohel only lasts for one day, decreed Tum'as Ohel (lasting seven days) on him. Any other objects underneath the ox-goad, which did not become Tamei in the first place, were not affected by this decree.


(a) The Gemara first thought that Tum'ah is automatically Machshiv the juice (to make it in turn, a Machshir, which will then be Metamei the grapes at the same time as it is Machshir them).

(b) The Gemara rejects this explanation, on the grounds that not everyone agrees with the fact that Tum'ah is Machshiv.

(c) No! The decree was confined to grapes, and not to olives. Shamai agreed that one is permitted to pick olives with Tamei baskets.

(a) In fact, Shamai and Hillel initiated the dispute that would later extend to their Talmidim respectively. Initially however, Hillel's opinion prevailed, and it was only in the time of their Talmidim that Beis Shamai had the majority count and the decree was passed.

(b) The Chachamim did not accept the decree originally, despite the fact that most seemed to agree with Shamai, because of the aggressive manner in which Shamai's opinion was presented - a manner which they found disrespectful to Hillel, who was the Prince and an exceptionally modest man.

(a) If one picks the grapes with closed baskets, the juice will not drip out of the basket and the owner will be pleased with the additional juice, which will consequently be Machshir the grapes.

(b) 'Noshchos' are grapes that are stuck together. Inevitably, when one comes to separate them, one squeezes them, so that some juice emerges. Since he extracts the juice manually, it is Machshir whether he particularly wants the juice or not.

(c) The third reason for the decree is that sometimes, one wants to test the grapes, to see whether they are ready for picking. He then squeezes them in order to extract some juice. In *this* case, he is pleased with the juice that emerges, and it is therefore Mekabel Tum'ah. So they decreed that *all* grape-pickers should pick their grapes be'Taharah.




(a) The decree of 'Gidulei Terumah ki'Terumah' relates to seeds which decompose completely, before they begin to germinate. What they decreed is that the Terumah seeds should remain Terumah, even after they have died and re-grown.

(b) If Yisraelim wanted to avoid giving Terumah, they would have had a much easier way of doing so, than by re-sowing it. They could simply separate one grain from their crops and give it to the Kohen. Min ha'Torah, this is sufficient, and Shmuel has said that a Yisrael who does that, has fulfilled his obligation.

(c) The reason for the decree, concludes the Gemara, is because of Kohanim who have in their possession Terumah Temei'ah which they intend to re-sow. In the meantime however, they will keep it in their house until the sowing season, and we are afraid that they may inadvertently come to eat it in the interim.

(a) The Rabbanan decreed that, if night falls whilst someone is traveling with his purse, he is not permitted to carry it, walking less than four Amos at a time (which min ha'Torah, he is allowed to do). Instead, he must give to a non-Jew to carry (If there is no non-Jew present, see Hagahos Ashri, Si'man 33, d.h. "Mi she'Hichshich')

(b) The decree on the bread, the oil, the wine and daughters is all one decree, as we shall soon see.

(a) Chazal decreed on the non-Jews' bread and oil because of their wine, and on their wine because of their daughters, and on their daughters because they will then be attracted to serve their idols.

(b) 'Davar Acher Mishum *Davar Acher*'. The second 'Davar Acher' refers to the hitherto unspecified decree of a non-Jewish child (from the age of nine - Rambam) rendering a Jew Tamei through touching, as if he was a Zav. The reason for this is in order to dissuade Jewish children from having contact with him, to avoid a homosexual relationship.

(c) The Gemara combines the two decrees of food and vessels which became Tamei through liquids. They were really one and the same decree, so we now have eighteen decrees according to Rebbi Meir and according to everyone.

(a) According to Beis Shamai, it is permitted to soak ink, dyes and oats on Erev Shabbos, only if they will soak (become slightly soft - Tif'eres Yisrael) before nightfall.

(b) Beis Shamai permit one to place flax into the oven, and wool into the cauldron to dye, if the former become hot and the latter, if some of the dye catches before nightfall.

(c) Beis Shamai permit the placing of animal and bird-traps, provided there is sufficient time to trap an animal or a bird before nightfall.

(a) Beis Shamai do not allow a Jew to sell to a non-Jew, to load with him on to his donkey's back or to lift onto his - the non-Jew's back, if he will not be able to reach his destination before nightfall, because it appears as if he is helping him to carry on Shabbos (See Tosfos d.h. 'Ela').

(b) One is permitted to give skins to a tanner or clothes to a laundered on Friday afternoon, if he will have time to complete the work before nightfall.

(c) In all of these cases, Beis Hillel permits right up to sunset.

(a) Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel's family custom was not to hand white clothes (which require three days to become clean) to a non-Jewish laundry within three days of Shabbos.

(b) Rabban Shimon's family adopted this Chumra of Beis Shamai.

(c) 'Koros Beis ha'Bad' were heavy beams, which they would place on the olives that were placed in the olive-press to be pressed, to extract their oil. And the 'Igulei ha'Gas' were their equivalent, placed on the grapes to produce wine - only these were round (hence their name), as opposed to the former, which were long.

(d) Beis Shamai concede here, that this is permitted right up to Shabbos, because, seeing as the grapes and the olives were already pressed *before* Shabbos, even if one were to then press them manually *on* Shabbos, one would not be Chayav (min ha'Torah). Consequently, the Rabbanan did not decree an Isur on them before Shabbos, like they did in the previous cases, all of which, render one Chayav if performed on Shabbos - except for the cases of selling to a non-Jew etc., as Tosfos explained there.

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